indonesian chicken and peanut soup (soto ayam)trating:
this earthy and complex soup brings to mind hot tropical suns and perfumed air. It's exotic but pleasantly so--and is a wonderful start to roast pork, grilled fish, or other plain fare. Serve hot as a first course in small bowls to 4-6 people. Selamat makan! (or, "good eating").
by Stephen Rodda
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 and 1/2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed or mashed
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
1 cup cooked chicken, slivered
1/2 cup green onions, sliced in rounds
garnish: green onions, sliced lengthwise into thin strips then latticed across the top of each bowl
in a large saucepan, combine the stock, soy sauce, molasses, lemon juice, and garlic. It seems like an awful combination at first, but it mellows together into a savoury broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
whisk in the peanut butter, then simmer for 5 more minutes.
when ready to serve, stir in the peanuts, chicken, and scallions. Heat through, then ladle into soup bowls and lattice the tops with scallion strips. Serve immediately.